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1943 Invasion Of France? (Locked)


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It should be noted that many of those fortifications on Omaha Beach also took direct shots from allied battleships. In fact, it took a direct shot into the opening of the fortification to knock it out, by basically killing the occupants.

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What did the Western Allies' world-wide order of battle look like in mid 1943 compared to mid 1944 - ie.e total number of trained divisions? (And does anyone have any good sources, especially on the net?)

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These figures are presumably all deployed or available for combat as opposed to training:

 

Roughly in May 1943 there were 6 US Army, 2 USMC, and 3 ANZAC divisions in the Pacific. In May 1944 there were 17 US Army, 4 USMC, and 7 ANZAC divisions in the Pacific.

 

There were 4 CW divisions in Burma in May 1943, 9 in May 1944.

 

In May 1943 there were 14 Allied IDs, 5 ADs (+5 Independent Arm Bdes) in North Africa.

 

Right now, I can't find out how many divisions were with Br 9th and 10th Armies in the ME, nor troops available in England. By the end of June 1944 the Allies had landed 21 ID & AbnDs, 5 ADs (+5 IABdes) in Normandy.

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These figures are presumably all deployed or available for combat as opposed to training:

 

Roughly in May 1943 there were 6 US Army, 2 USMC, and 3 ANZAC divisions in the Pacific. In May 1944 there were 17 US Army, 4 USMC, and 7 ANZAC divisions in the Pacific.

 

There were 4 CW divisions in Burma in May 1943, 9 in May 1944.

 

In May 1943 there were 14 Allied IDs, 5 ADs (+5 Independent  Arm Bdes) in North Africa.

 

Right now, I can't find out how many divisions were with Br 9th and 10th Armies in the ME, nor troops available in England. By the end of June 1944 the Allies had landed 21 ID & AbnDs, 5 ADs (+5 IABdes) in Normandy.

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In May 43 there were 7-8 Australian Divs, and one NZ. If a decision had been made early enough that all they were going to do was secure and garrison Papua, 6th, 7th, 9th, 1st Armd, 2nd Armd, and possibly 1st and 2nd Motorised Divs could have been available for Europe beginning from about June, and building through until late winter.

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In May 43 there were 7-8 Australian Divs, and one NZ.  If a decision had been made early enough that all they were going to do was secure and garrison Papua, 6th, 7th, 9th, 1st Armd, 2nd Armd, and possibly 1st and 2nd Motorised Divs could have been available for Europe beginning from about June, and building through until late winter.

 

 

So, we have a cunning plan!

 

1) drop this silliness in the SW Pacific. Decide there will be no SWPA offensive.

2) drop any idea of invading the Philippines.

3) don't invade any other Pacific islands which can safely be bypassed

 

Divert the ground troops, landing ships & anything else therefore not needed in the Pacific to Europe, to be available for a 1943 invasion of Northern France.

 

How does this affect the equation?

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Well, it gets you a Kasserine Pass experience in Europe on an Army Group scale instead of a division scale in North Africa.

Plus, you give Japan another year or two to harvest raw materials without fear of major invasions leading to a more formidable resistance when liberation time comes.

The Germans probably won't do Kursk...

Patton doesn't slap 2 GI's and therefore leads the invasion, ultimately doing a FAR BETTER JOB than Bradley did.

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1) drop this silliness in the SW Pacific. Decide there will be no SWPA offensive.

2) drop any idea of invading the Philippines.

3) don't invade any other Pacific islands which can safely be bypassed

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I can see some of you belong to the Europe First crowd ;)

 

Retaking the Philippines is essential to cutting Japan's link to her NEI oil.

 

The whole Solomons/Papuan campaign served to attrit the Japanese military in a big way. And Japan did not have the industrial capacity to fight such a war.

 

Most islands that could be bypassed, were. Peleliu stands out as a pinnacle of absurdity, though.

 

I would wonder how well a 43 invasion of southern France would be recieved by the American public if it meant putting a lot of Pacific operations on hold. And with the increasing amount of hulls coming out of the shipyards, having all that steel sitting at idle would not please Admiral King very much.

 

Also, I can't imagine Dugout Doug having his theatre of ops shut down would sit too well with him, either :lol:

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1) drop this silliness in the SW Pacific. Decide there will be no SWPA offensive.

2) drop any idea of invading the Philippines.

3) don't invade any other Pacific islands which can safely be bypassed

_________________________________________________________________

 

I can see some of you belong to the Europe First crowd ;)

 

As were the Govts and Chiefs of Staff.  It was Europe first as the principle stretegic aim.  Germany was much more dangerous than Japan and both Roosevelt and Churchill, plus all their top brass, with the exception of the USN and BugOut Doug knew.

 

Retaking the Philippines is essential to cutting Japan's link to her NEI oil.

 

Crap, if you want to stop the Japanese getting NEI oil, go after the oil itself, it would have been no bigger a job than going after the PI.

 

The whole Solomons/Papuan campaign served to attrit the Japanese military in a big way. And Japan did not have the industrial capacity to fight such a war.

 

See above, going after the NEI oil via Timor and Java would have attritted Japanese war fighting capability a hell of a lot quicker than the peripheral shit along the north coast of New Guinea and in the Solomons.  All they needed from those campaigns was to take back the north coast of Papua, and take and hold Gualdacanal, Tulagi, and Florida.  All the rest was a criminal waste of men and materiel.  Especially men.

 

Most islands that could be bypassed, were. Peleliu stands out as a pinnacle of absurdity, though.

 

I would wonder how well a 43 invasion of southern France would be recieved by the American public if it meant putting a lot of Pacific operations on hold. And with the increasing amount of hulls coming out of the shipyards, having all that steel sitting at idle would not please Admiral King very much.

 

The argument is not about southern France, but northern France.  Specifically making a lodgement on the Cotentin Peninsular, with C'wealth troops.  Whilst various US elements were quite happy to fight to the last Brit and Canuck in France in 43, they wouldn't go as far into the Med in 42 to make Torch really worth while.  The furthest landing should have been at Bone, which would have made a run on Tunis and Bizerte possible.  As it was the Brits had to fight tooth and nail to get the invasion to go as far in as Oran.

 

Also, I can't imagine Dugout Doug having his theatre of ops shut down would sit too well with him, either :lol:

 

My heart bleeds for BugOut Doug.  That preening prima donna killed or ruined a huge number of men for his own glory, and wasted a shit load of aircraft, ships, and shipping tonnage in the process.

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Personally, I think the Curtin Govt made two huge stratego-political mistakes during WWII. They handed over Australia warmaking to BugOut Doug, and they didn't make sure that at least one Div of the AIF, and preferably all of it, was in at the kill in Europe. The international political points for that post war would have been immense.

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Germany was much more dangerous than Japan
On the whole, probably yes. But after the Coral Sea & Midway set-backs, Japan could not be allowed to regain the initiative. I also have to wonder how much of the "Europe First" strategy was influenced by the limited striking power of the USN in 1942. Had there been naval assets to do more than just hit-and-run carrier raids, there might have been a more favorable view on taking offensive operations in the Pacific. The US certainly needed to be commited to supporting Britian all that it could, but the war in Europe wasn't what brought America into the war. The revenge motive for Pearl Harbor is what drove the public to support war.

 

See above, going after the NEI oil via Timor and Java would have attritted Japanese war fighting capability a hell of a lot quicker than the peripheral shit along the north coast of New Guinea and in the Solomons.

 

If it was dangerous to operate carrier groups in, and around the restrictive waters of Guadalcanal, I can't imagine the USN being too enthusiastic about facing even more land-based air in the NEI. The one advantage the two-pronged Pacific strategy had, IMHO, was a dispersal of IJN forces to cover both the central and the southern areas of its' defense perimeter. A single move allows the IJN to concentrate for the "decisive engagement" it had always been looking for. And an engagement in the NEI without neutralizing Japanese land-based air power first, favors the Japanese. Darwin is not close enough for fighter escort to Timor & Java, or being able to support carrier ops.

 

All they needed from those campaigns was to take back the north coast of Papua, and take and hold Gualdacanal, Tulagi, and Florida.  All the rest was a criminal waste of men and materiel.  Especially men.
Rabaul, and ultimately Truk, need to be neutralized in order to truly secure Moresby and sea routes to Australia. Otherwise the potential still remains for the Japanese to conduct offensive operations in the SWPA. The Cartwheel & Toenails operations also served to give the US valuable lessons in conducting amphib ops that would ultimately save lives, later on. Just my opinion, there.

 

The argument is not about southern France, but northern France.

 

My carelessness, there. I knew the discussion was about a northern landing. Have no idea why I typed in "southern." :unsure:

 

That preening prima donna killed or ruined a huge number of men for his own glory, and wasted a shit load of aircraft, ships, and shipping tonnage in the process.

 

Agreed. I'm not a big fan of Mac and I especially detest his treatment of Eichelberger and the Aussies in general, seeing as how they did the lions share of the work in defeating the Japanese in Owen Stanley Mts. and at Buna & Lae.

Edited by CarsomyrIV
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Patton doesn't slap 2 GI's and therefore leads the invasion, ultimately doing a FAR BETTER JOB than Bradley did.

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HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA i didnt know you were a comedian too lol. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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The strength, or lack, of the Atlantic Wall is almost irrelevant. What is relevant are the comparable build-up rates. Getting ashore is not the problem; staying ashore is the problem. What the Pacific experts knew was how to land, and they were accustomed to dealing with enemy forces which were not linked by rail to the industrial heartland of the homeland. Big difference.

 

In 1944 the Allies had enough trained divisions to put roughly one division ashore each three days and had enough craft afloat to handle the wastage.

 

The capability to conduct a Transportation Plan in 1943 matters.

 

The capability to win the seagoing logistics battle in mid-ocean, not assuming the enemy is going to play into your shallow water, air-covered advantages, matters.

 

It was true that in 1944 the Germans had an improved tank fleet, but their anti-tank guns of choice (50, 75, 88) were already part of the inventory in 1943.

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Very well superfractal,

Explain in detail why Bradley was a better commander than Patton. FOcus in detail on Bradley's decision NOT to communicate with Montgomery during the closing of the Falaise Pocket.

If that isn't a convenient area for you then extrapolate on Bradley's mediocre performance during the Battle of the Bulge when Patton and Montogomery were called on to un*uck Bradley's unsuccessful deployments.

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Very well superfractal,

Explain in detail why Bradley was a better commander than Patton.  FOcus in detail on Bradley's decision NOT to communicate with Montgomery during the closing of the Falaise Pocket.

If that isn't a convenient area for you then extrapolate on Bradley's mediocre performance during the Battle of the Bulge when Patton and Montogomery were called on to un*uck Bradley's unsuccessful deployments.

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sorry i wasnt aware that Bradley had the lead in overlord, which i assume you were refering to. I was always under the impression Montgomery had the lead as he had his allied ground forces leadership taken away from him(demoted to british ground forces commander) before market garden.

 

But then i may well have mis read your post, or i could just be wrong as im not aware of the slapping incident.

Edited by superfractal
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Bradley HATED Montgomery. Far more than Patton ever did. His unwillingness to work with Montgomery resulted in a number of difficulties for the Allies. Some reports even speculate that Montgomery was the initial impetus behind Cobra.

Bradley was in a position to create the "Bradley Legend" postwar. His reputation has fallen far with further study.

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Bradley HATED Montgomery.  Far more than Patton ever did.  His unwillingness to work with Montgomery resulted in a number of difficulties for the Allies.  Some reports even speculate that Montgomery was the initial impetus behind Cobra.

Bradley was in a position to create the "Bradley Legend" postwar.  His reputation has fallen far with further study.

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I agree i have read that too, i just thought you were saying bradley had command of overlord.

 

I thought it was a deliberate joke.

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No,

I don't joke about Bradley. His venomous pen did a lot of historical damage in my opinion and I don't believe he deserves much of his reputation. I view more current works on Bradley's generalship as a correction long overdue.

 

As a side note I spoke to a gentleman on Bradley's staff after the war who had a very low opinion of him (and his hateful wife).

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I just remember Bradley's statement to the Congress (during the Unification Hearings post-war) that he could foresee no eventuality in which the United States would have to make an amphibious landing against armed opposition again--hence we could easily do away with the Marine Corps.

 

This was in 1947. Quick history quizz, kids...what happened only 3 years later?

 

Ass.

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The strength, or lack, of the Atlantic Wall is almost irrelevant. What is relevant are the comparable build-up rates. Getting ashore is not the problem; staying ashore is the problem. What the Pacific experts knew was how to land, and they were accustomed to dealing with enemy forces which were not linked by rail to the industrial heartland of the homeland. Big difference.

The Pacific experts were accustomed to handling major logistics efforts in far-away places without ports, railroads, and pipelines. They knew what could be done and how to do it. The Brits (and Yanks) in COSSAC who did most of the initial planning had not Clue One as to what could be done.

 

 

In 1944 the Allies had enough trained divisions to put roughly one division ashore each three days and had enough craft afloat to handle the wastage.

They did in 1943 as well, provided all the units and shipping in the Pacific went to the Atlantic.

 

The capability to conduct a Transportation Plan in 1943 matters.

The effective parts of the Transportation Plan could have been done in 1943. The 1944 Plan devastated all of France so as not to give a clue as to where the landing would be. In 1943 it would have been possible to isolate Normandy - again given the assets from the PTO, SWPA, and MTO.

 

The capability to win the seagoing logistics battle in mid-ocean, not assuming the enemy is going to play into your shallow water, air-covered advantages, matters.

1. As it turns out the battle was won by May 1943 anyway - not that the planners knew that.

 

2. There were several CVEs and escorts in the Pacific that could have been used as ASW in mid-Atlantic if necessary.

 

3. What effect do you think an Allied presence in Normandy is going to have on the sub bases in Brittany?

 

It was true that in 1944 the Germans had an improved tank fleet, but their anti-tank guns of choice (50, 75, 88) were already part of the inventory in 1943.

A very small part. Most infantry divisions considered themselves lucky to have nine 50mm guns for the whole division. The 37mm was still in wide use, and the Germans had lost tremendous assets at Stalingrad and Tunisgrad.

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Quote :

 

The Pacific experts were accustomed to handling major logistics efforts in far-away places without ports, railroads, and pipelines. They knew what could be done and how to do it. The Brits (and Yanks) in COSSAC who did most of the initial planning had not Clue One as to what could be done.

 

unquote

 

I think you may need to re-visit that statement.

 

The Pacific was notorious for wasting shipping resources and having masses of ships tied up as useless floating warehouses due to inefficiencies in shipping planning and port useage.

 

The plans for Neptune (the naval part of Overlord) were set up by people who had been doing logistics in depth for four years and whose plans worked very well.

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Quote :

 

The Pacific experts were accustomed to handling major logistics efforts in far-away places without ports, railroads, and pipelines. They knew what could be done and how to do it. The Brits (and Yanks) in COSSAC who did most of the initial planning had not Clue One as to what could be done.

 

unquote

 

I think you may need to re-visit that statement.

I stand by my statement.

 

The Pacific was notorious for wasting shipping resources and having masses of ships tied up as useless floating warehouses due to inefficiencies in shipping planning and port useage.

You are referring to rear-echelon shipping, I am referring to front line shipping, ie transport in the battle zone. The inadequacy of port facilities led to "floating warehouses" in the Pacific, and in every other theater. It was an unavoidable result of the convoy system. Even major ports got backed up when a large convoy arrived. Ports are designed to handle a steady stream of ships, not large fleets one day and nothing the next. Estimates of convoy system impact on loading/unloading average around 33%-50% overall loss of efficiency in major ports. The situation in the Pacific was worse because large port facilities were practically non-existent.

 

The plans for Neptune (the naval part of Overlord) were set up by people who had been doing logistics in depth for four years And who might they be? and whose plans worked very well.

And OVERLORD had to wait a year for the Mulberries, PLUTO, etc, etc, to be built. If one is saying that a 1943 landing is impossible in the absense of these frills, then one must account for all the major and minor assaults and movements made in the PTO without those frills.

 

A 1943 operation must be different from the 1944 operation. Again, I say that a 1943 landing could not have followed the same historical course that the NWE campaign did - which resulted in victory in 50 weeks. But a 1943 landing was possible with the resources available. The resources available in 1943 would not have worked against the forces and defenses the Germans had in 1944. But the German defenses were non-existent and the forces much smaller in 1943. If we had a year to build up, so did the Germans.

 

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But a 1943 landing was possible with the resources available. The resources available in 1943 would not have worked against the forces and defenses the Germans had in 1944. But the German defenses were non-existent and the forces much smaller in 1943. If we had a year to build up, so did the Germans.

 

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Do we really need to rehash this all again? :D

 

Yes the beach defenses as they existed in 1944 were almost nonexistant, well except for the coastal defense batteries, which were virtually identical (the main difference in 1944 was that many were then in enclosed emplacements, which wasn't always an advantage curiously enough).

 

And the German forces were smaller, but as I think I've shown before, that was all relative, proportianately the forces that the Allies could bring to bear was also much smaller.

 

For instance, through February 1943 just 169 LST had been commissioned, while through February 1944 a total of 444 had been commissioned, of which no less than 127 were utilized in the assault forces and another 110 in the follow-on forces for NEPTUNE. And the situation with regards to other assault craft are similar.

 

Also, I suggest you read Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume I, which is eye-opening - to say the least - when it comes to the time and effort required to prepare the logistical infrastructure in Britain.

 

So the real problem was that for a mid-1943 landing the planning, preparation, and, most crtically, construction had to begin no later than mid-1942, so it would have begun on the basis of zero amhibious expereince.

 

I eagerly await your reply. <_<

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"So the real problem was that for a mid-1943 landing the planning, preparation, and, most crtically, construction had to begin no later than mid-1942, so it would have begun on the basis of zero amhibious expereince.

I eagerly await your reply. <_<"

 

just out of curosity, wasnt this the point of dieppe?

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Do we really need to rehash this all again? :D

People keep asking the same old questions..... <_<

Besides, it seems to be the only way to lure you out of your lair :P :D

 

Yes the beach defenses as they existed in 1944 were almost nonexistant, well except for the coastal defense batteries, which were virtually identical (the main difference in 1944 was that many were then in enclosed emplacements, which wasn't always an advantage curiously enough).

 

And the German forces were smaller, but as I think I've shown before, that was all relative, proportianately the forces that the Allies could bring to bear was also much smaller.

How much smaller would they have been if we weren't futzing around on the fringes in furtherance of Britain's Empire and taking worthless disease-ridden real estate by frontal assault in the Pacific?

 

For instance, through February 1943 just 169 LST had been commissioned, while through February 1944 a total of 444 had been commissioned, of which no less than 127 were utilized in the assault forces and another 110 in the follow-on forces for NEPTUNE. And the situation with regards to other assault craft are similar.

Granted, but I am assuming LCs weren't frittered away in the Med and Pacific. If 169 LST were commissioned by Feb 1943, then that is more than were actually used in OVERLORD initial landings, by your own figures.

 

Also, I suggest you read Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume I, which is eye-opening - to say the least - when it comes to the time and effort required to prepare the logistical infrastructure in Britain.

I would love to, you know where I can find one, preferably cheap?

 

So the real problem was that for a mid-1943 landing the planning, preparation, and, most crtically, construction had to begin no later than mid-1942, so it would have begun on the basis of zero amhibious expereince.

This is true, it is also my main point that had Alanbrooke not scuppered the 1943 plans at Casablanca the planning ordained by the CCS in 1942 (and to which the US JCS was committed) would have been ready. The US came to Casablanca prepared to finalize plans for France '43, the British came ready to scuttle it.

The question posed that opened the whole thing this time was a French landing after TORCH instead of Sicily-Italy. FDR wanted to do something in 1942, so he pushed TORCH through. I am assuming (and the topic question assumes) that TORCH was going to happen.

So there would have been the experience from TORCH, even if it was mainly What NOT To Do In An Amphibious Landing.

 

I eagerly await your reply. <_<

You got it.

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"So the real problem was that for a mid-1943 landing the planning, preparation, and, most crtically, construction had to begin no later than mid-1942, so it would have begun on the basis of zero amhibious expereince.

I eagerly await your reply. <_<"

 

just out of curosity, wasnt this the point of dieppe?

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Dieppe was an experiment to see if a port could be taken by frontal assault from the ocean. It proved that an operation with next to no air and naval support could not take a port from an alerted enemy who knew when and where you were coming.

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Do we really need to rehash this all again? :D

People keep asking the same old questions..... <_<

Besides, it seems to be the only way to lure you out of your lair :P :D

 

I was not in my lair, I was out working very hard to make ends meet, the guvmint decided to put all its end of year money into Katrina. Iraq and Afghanistan. leaving me without work for six months. :rolleyes: Plus I was nursing a broken heart, something I take very seriously. :(

 

How much smaller would they have been if we weren't futzing around on the fringes in furtherance of Britain's Empire and taking worthless disease-ridden real estate by frontal assault in the Pacific?

 

Not by much, at the best we might have had 7th ID available for Europe as it was meant to be. But most of the divisions that Mac coopted for New Guinea were originally sent as defensive forces for Australia and other areas in mid-late 1942, it is unlikely they could have been rotated back to CONUS of ETO in time for a mid 1943 landing. Quite simply, there weren't that many US forces available worldwide in 1943. And of course there was no way the Marines weren't going to be in the Pacific, notthat they are sinificant in mid 1943 anyway.

 

Granted, but I am assuming LCs weren't frittered away in the Med and Pacific. If 169 LST were commissioned by Feb 1943, then that is more than were actually used in OVERLORD initial landings, by your own figures.

 

Sorry, but you are simply not going to get the US Navy or American public to accept a 100% allocation of forces to the ETO.

 

I would love to, you know where I can find one, preferably cheap?

 

Uh, you can order the entire ETO series from the GPO on CD-ROM for $29.95, Sarge. :D

 

This is true, it is also my main point that had Alanbrooke not scuppered the 1943 plans at Casablanca the planning ordained by the CCS in 1942 (and to which the US JCS was committed) would have been ready. The US came to Casablanca prepared to finalize plans for France '43, the British came ready to scuttle it.

The question posed that opened the whole thing this time was a French landing after TORCH instead of Sicily-Italy. FDR wanted to do something in 1942, so he pushed TORCH through. I am assuming (and the topic question assumes) that TORCH was going to happen.

So there would have been the experience from TORCH, even if it was mainly What NOT To Do In An Amphibious Landing.

 

Sorry, no, the Casablanca conference was in January 1943. If the buildup had been given priority then instead of some six months later, the savings in time would have been about six months, i.e. making a NEPTUNE-size landing possible maybe in January 1944. Of course if the invasion of Italy had been cancelled, then we could have landed Fifth and Eighth Army in Normandy in September 1943. With the armies landing seriatim with perhaps three divisions in the initial lift and two divisions in the follow-on for each. But of course there is also the not so minor problem that the majority of the German divisions that responded to the Italian threat came from French cantonments and suffered greatly from the poor state of the Italian railroads. The French rail net was in fine fettle. :D

 

Also I think you are confusing yourself. TORCH was November 1942, the Casablanca Conference was January 1943, one preceeded the other, rather neccessarily. :D Unless you are refering to AVALANCHE or HUSKY?

 

You got it.

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And there is mine back. <_<

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